Shankha (Sanskrit: शंख, Śaṇkha), also spelled and pronounced as Shankh and Sankha, is a conch shell of ritual and religious importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is the shell of a large predatory sea snail,Turbinella pyrum found in the Indian Ocean.
In Hinduism the Shankha is a sacred emblem of the Hindu preserver god Vishnu. The shankha is still used as a trumpet in Hindu ritual, and was used as a war trumpet in the past. The Shankha is praised in Hindu scriptures as a giver of fame, longevity and prosperity, the cleanser of sin and the abode of Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and consort of Vishnu.
The Shankha is displayed in Hindu art in association with Vishnu. As a symbol of water, it is associated with female fertility and serpents (Nāgas). The Shankha is the state emblem of Indian state of Kerala and was national emblems of the erstwhile Indian Princely state of Travancore and Kingdom of Kochi
The Shankha is included in the list of the eight Buddhist auspicious symbols, the Ashtamangala. In Tibetan Buddhism it is known as "dung kar".
A powder derived from the Shankha is used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, primarily as a cure for stomach ailments and for increasing beauty and strength.
In the Western world in the English language, the shell of this species is known as the "divine conch" or the "sacred chank". It may also be simply called a "chank" or conch.